A trader walks in New York City's financial district on Sept. 12, a day when stocks fell early based on fears that the Greek government would default, then rallied on news that China might buy Italian debt. This year, what sent the market into a tailspin often took place overseas.
Credit Spencer Platt / Getty Images
Anti-riot police clash with Greek demonstrators in Athens in October during a protest against deeper austerity cuts, as the debt crisis in Greece and the rest of Europe intensified this year.
2011 was a year of crisis and revolution, and that took a big toll on the world's financial markets. In the United States, stocks lurched along for much of the year, losing and gaining ground over and over again.
Stock prices are ending the year just about where they were at the beginning, and anyone who invested in anything but the bluest of blue chip stocks probably didn't make much money. And yet, the flat trend lines masked a huge amount of volatility, says Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Harris Private Bank.
Teachers and school districts say they agree that better teacher evaluations are needed, but they can't agree on the details. Now, those disputes threaten federal grants meant to encourage education reform.
Take New York state, which has a lot of failing schools. Those schools got more than $100 million in federal School Improvement Grants. In exchange, districts promised to phase in new evaluation systems.
Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 5:56 pm
For many people, 2011 wasn't a great year. When the economy wasn't sluggish, it was turbulent. And all manner of disasters seemed to rotate through the headlines. But in some states, and some neighborhoods, people got along just fine. Look closely at the worlds of business and sports, music and politics, and you'll find a few people and places that had it pretty good in 2011.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. When you look back on 2011, what will you remember, the Fukushima nuclear disaster following the tsunami? What about the death of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and the pioneer of personal computing? How about the world's population reaching seven billion?
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. The New Year's countdown has begun, not at the clock in Times Square but this one for two NASA probes set to orbit the moon this weekend. The twin spacecraft, GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B are expected to enter lunar orbit 24 hours apart, one on New Year's Eve, the other on New Year's Day.